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A History of Ideas Concerning Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Craig Paterson

Independent Scholar


The article examines from an historical perspective some of the key ideas used in contemporary bioethics debates both for and against the practices of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Key thinkers examined -- spanning the Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods -- include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The article concludes with a synthesizing summary of key ideas that oppose or defend assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: Suicide, Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, Killing and Letting Die

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Date posted: November 12, 2007 ; Last revised: June 28, 2010

Suggested Citation

Paterson, Craig, A History of Ideas Concerning Suicide, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (2005). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1029229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1029229

Contact Information

Craig Paterson (Contact Author)
Independent Scholar ( email )
No Address Available
United States
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